Nuggets Forward Suffers Torn ACL In International Play

After establishing a role for himself in the rotation of the NBA Champion Denver Nuggets in 2022-23, it'll likely be the '24-'25 season before the team sees power forward Vlatko Cancar take the court again. 

The 26-year-old Slovenian has suffered a torn ACL while playing an exhibition game for his country in advance of the FIBA World Cup next month. 

Cancar was driving the lane for a dunk when he came down awkwardly and his knee buckled, sending him to the court writhing in pain. The diagnosis revealed the worst-case scenario.

Recovery from an ACL tear is usually close to a year-long rehab, so he's most likely done for the coming season. 

Cancar was entering his fifth season with the Nuggets after they selected him in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Last year, he averaged 5.0 points and 2.1 rebounds while shooting 37% from three in about 14 minutes per game. He was expected to take on a bigger role in the coming season, however, what with fellow forwards Jeff Green and Bruce Brown both leaving in free agency. 

It's a tough break for the Slovenian, and the defending champs. 

 Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports